Which Strategies are Used in the Design of Technical LA Infrastructure? A Qualitative Interview Study

George Ciordas-Hertel, Jan Schneider, H.J. Drachsler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


In order to obtain a holistic perspective on learning, technical infrastructure at an institutional level can be advantageous for Learning Analytics (LA). If personal data is collected and processed in such infrastructure, legal requirements are of crucial importance. Recent studies have examined various aspects of LA infrastructure, such as ethical trade-offs and stakeholder needs. However, strategies for designing technical LA infrastructure at the institutional level and strategies for dealing with data protection regulations have been lacking so far, although they are crucial for the adoption of LA in Europe. The purpose of this paper is to examine three research questions: (RQ1) which strategies are currently used to design LA infrastructure; (RQ2) how data protection and privacy affect the design of LA infrastructure; and (RQ3) how could technical measures support the adoption of LA. These research questions were investigated by conducting eleven interviews with LA infrastructure developers representing eight different higher education institutions and ten different infrastructures. According to RQ1, the paper first examines the domain specificity of LA infrastructure and the four design strategies used. The paper also examines, according to RQ2, the interviewees' awareness of data protection, the conflict with users' consent, and the data subject rights. Finally, the paper presents, in line with RQ3, the results of the strategies in dealing with trust, stakeholder expectations, and engagement. Researchers and infrastructure developers can use and adopt these findings to improve their strategies for developing technical LA infrastructure with regard to data protection, privacy, and trust.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2020)
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering Education for the Future in a Multicultural and Smart World
EditorsAlberto Cardoso, Gustavo R. Alves, Maria Teresa Restivo
Place of PublicationRed Hook, NY
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-0930-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-0931-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
EventIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference 2020 - Online, University of Coimbra, University of Porto and Polytechnic of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 27 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


ConferenceIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleIEEE EDUCON 2020
Internet address


  • Data protection
  • Design strategy
  • GDPR
  • Learning analytics
  • Privacy
  • Qualitative interview study
  • Technical infrastructure


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